Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Shindig










September 13, 2015


Every September, the local alternative-rock radio station puts on a one-day festival-style show full of relatively well known artists from the 90s through present. I attended last year with a handful of friends though I didn't have personal attachments to any of the bands and saw acts like Foxy Shazam, Fitz & the Tantrums, and Foster the People. This year I talked a few more of my friends into going as - in my opinion - the lineup was better, and we collected a decent group of people and spent a full day enjoying the music.

It was fortuitously one of the first real days of fall and thus a glorious day to spend outside. Because there was only one stage this year instead of two, we stayed more or less in the same place on the lawn all afternoon and as evening crept along we got free upgrades to seats under the pavilion.

The day started with Kopecky, a Nashville-based indie-rock group who ended their set with a cover of "Tusk" - one of my favourite Fleetwood Mac songs - before the stage went over to a few 90s bands and local acts. MuteMath was the afternoon highlight; one of my friends and I had seen them two years ago as our first act of friendship and we were happy to see them again together on our unofficial friendiversary.

The most exciting part of the day, however, was meeting Jack Antonoff (lead guitarist of fun. and frontman of Bleachers). As soon as I heard he was hosting a meet & greet I freaked out and dragged a friend along so that I wasn't alone. The meet & greet was quite short; we weren't allowed to take photos - though we did sneak one - and we weren't able to do much more than exchange a few sentences, but it was still a cool experience.

Bleachers and Passion Pit, the two bands I cared the most to see, didn't come on until the end of the night, thankfully after we'd been given pavilion seats. Bleachers was, as expected, really good, but the Passion Pit... experience we'll call it, was above and beyond. I'd seen Passion Pit a few years ago but this time the energy level was much higher and the crowd itself was much bigger. They opened and closed with my two favourite songs which made me happ.

But the best part was not even Passion Pit, it was the action going down in the row next to us. We were lucky enough to be seated next to the biggest high school drama show I've ever witnessed in person, and it was phenomenal viewing. From what we could determine, two girls were fighting over a boy in the middle of the row and the rest of the group was on opposite sides of the issue. It was one of the most entertaining things I've seen and it reaffirmed my desire to never again relive high school. We didn't care to see the final act and the drama was going nowhere so we left early, a little sunburnt and deaf.


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